Telecommunications ARRA Grant Information
The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have released a joint request for information and notice of public meetings to solicit public input on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program established in the ARRA. The meetings will give Americans an opportunity to discuss how NTIA and RUS should design and implement these programs. Each of these meetings will feature a roundtable discussion and an opportunity for public comment. The meeting are scheduled for March 16, 19, 23, and 24 in Washington, D.C.; for March 17 in Las Vegas; and for March 18 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
NTIA will award $4.7 billion in ARRA funding for projects that will accelerate broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas and for strategic institutions that are likely to create jobs or provide significant public benefits. There will be three rounds of funding: April through June 2009, October through December 2009, and April through June 2010.
RUS will award $2.5 billion in ARRA funding for a distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband program. Applicants are required to be "shovel ready" and to use the funds in such a way that 75 percent of the areas served includes rural areas without sufficient access to broadband service that could facilitate rural economic development.
Notes from FCC/RUS/NTIA Joint Meetings on Broadband Initiatives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009